Previously on Gotham ... Alice gets impaled, Penguin's mayoral bid prevailed, Gordon's suicidal tendencies were curtailed, and Bruce's clone bailed. Until the Court of Owls picked him up. So, I guess you could say he... failed?
Now on Gotham ... Penguin gets assailed, Butch is blackmailed, and... all right, all right, let's get this show on the road already.
What's got your favorite recapper rhyming like a giddy fool? Is "I'd Do Anything" really that good? Only one way to find out!
- Penguin's mayoral attempts to clean up Gotham are going pretty smoothly until someone starts blowing up school buses, priests and statues of poor Carol Kane! Who's behind this madness? The Red Hood Gang! Who's behind the Red Hood Gang? BUTCH?! That's right. Butch. Turns out he's not happy with the new world order of Gotham and wants to get Nygma out of the picture and get back into Oswald's good graces. I have no idea how his actions will achieve that, but ... okay, Butch. Sure.
- James Gordon, meanwhile, apparently has been spending some quality smoochie times with Valerie Vale. But it's not a thing, you see. Because if it were a thing, Valerie would get kidnapped probably, as is the way with Gordon's girlfriends. She is, however, chasing after the story of Alice's bloodd which Jim won't help her with. Well, until she goes out on a date with a guy to get the info, at which point Jim shows up and shoves him along because I guess he and Valerie are a thing after all. Look forward to next episode when she gets kidnapped probably.
- The Alice blood thing is legit, though. Tests done on rats show the blood gives them super strength before turning at least some of them homicidal. Remember when old Captain Barnes and his cane got bloodied up? Well, the good news is he doesn't need the cane anymore. The bad news is, he's probably gonna fail at killing one of Gotham's more annoying characters when he goes full blown psycho.
- Nygma is Oswald's chief of staff and his first big job is going back to the GCPD to figure out who's responsible for the Red Hood Gang. Everyone there hates him, but only Lee actually smacks him in the face. Yes, she's probably safe on account of her publicly marrying into the Falcone family, but Ed could've killed her right there and she took the risk. So how about that -- Lee having a little courage and agency of her very own. Even broken clocks in Gotham are right twice a day.
- And speaking of being right, Ed figures out the Red Hood Gang mystery, at least one piece at a time. First he figures out where the gang's hiding out, forcing Butch (who's with them when Penguin's en route to their location) to kill the Red Hoods so he seems like the hero instead of the Judas.
- Penguin's hosting a party to celebrate his mayordom and his defeat of the Red Hoods at The Siren Club. Unbeknown to him, however, Ed (and Victor Zsasz) is blackmailing Butch by holding his ex-flame, Tabitha hostage. Ed knows Butch double-crossed Penguin and wants him to finish the job! Butch kills Penguin, Ed takes over as mayor, and together the two rule the city together. What a double cross! But, wait -- it's a double double cross! Dos dobles! Turns out Ed killed Butch's gun with blanks because he only wanted Oswald to see with his own eyes that Butch had betrayed him. And though Butch tries to strangle Ed to death, Ed survives, thus causing Ed and Oswald's love to grow and grow and grow.
- And Butch? He's arrested. But don't worry -- Tabitha feels for him and saves him with her motorcycle badassery.
- Let's not forget Bruce Wayne. He has a very important plot: kiss Selina Kyle. He succeeds, but he has no idea if she actually like him. Get used to it, kid -- that's dating at first. That's also dating until death, basically.
- One last mystery -- Ivy all growed up is somehow also at Penguin's party. But instead of letting her best friend, Selina, know what's up, instea she taughts Selina instead saying how it's more fun to wait until Selina figures it out. What a terrible, terrible person. Literally who does that? As crazy and mean as everyone in Gotham is, no one is more crazy or mean than Ivy. Jeez.
- Wait, I almost forgot to mention Jervis Tetch! he's uh... crazier than ever, I guess? He dressed up some rando like Alice and killed her. Sure. Okay. That's nice.
Does it sound like a busy episode? It's a busy episode. But it's also incredibly intriguing with twists and turns that'll keep you guessing until the very end (unless you read this first, that is). But there are flaws, too. Let's break it down.
- Barbara and Tabitha spend the entire episode playing both sides of the equation and it's about the most defined to women have ever been on this show. Neither of them is completely committed to anything other than their own continued survival. They've got The Siren Club, now they're just trying to ensure Penguin doesn't try to kill Tabitha which they'll accomplish by any means necessary. It finally feels like we've got women with a plotline all their own. Took three seasons, but hey.
- And how about that Lee? She's the only one in the GCPD who actually gives Ed what he does -- a punch in the kisser. And while she hides a little behind the Falcone name, she still seems stronger than ever. Bonus points for she and Jim having a grown up conversation about moving on. They are both way better apart than together.
- And then there's the Ed/Oswald plot -- that's edge-of-your-seat entertainment. I was so upset that Ed might want Oswald to die that I actually said a silent prayer that this was a set-up. And when the two of them were still together (and closer than ever) I damn near wept tears of joy. Of course, just like last week, I'm still cheesed that this isn't a romantic love story (yet), but of course it isn't. No DC show is cool enough to be that gay.
- OMG this Ivy plotline! Could it get any worse? It could, it could. But her sidling up to some rich old guy like she's been a honey trap for years is both gross and unbelievable. And how she treats Selina! Why? It's just the dumbest. For every step forward Gotham takes with its women, why must it always take such huge steps back at the same time?
- Hey, look, a theme -- why does Tetch's insanity have t take the form of killing random women he dresses up as Alice? I mean I know that this at least is kind of in keeping with the canon, but it's so gross now that we know he was raping his sister before she died. Yuck. You've got a good actor in that role, Gotham -- give him something a little more complex to play.
- Hey, look, still that theme -- Valerie and Jim is so on the nose. We had this nice thing going where maybe Val wasn't that into him, but now that they're hooked up I just know she's gonna get kidnapped and lose her agency. Ugh.
It's all very Gotham this week. Whether it's jokes about Butch's fake hand, or Oswald's weird statue of his mother, the whole show has gone off the rails again in the best way possible. But the best has got to be the repeated use of people holding unpinned grenades. Barbara does it because she's crazy, but a poor priest is forced to do it by the Red Hoods until he explodes all over a school bus. You'd think that would be gruesome and horrifying, but it's played for yucks instead. Only Gotham would do that, and only Gotham can get away with it.
Stay tuned for next week. Will Ed and Oswald's love continue to blossom? Will Bruce and Selina's love continue to blossom? Will my hate for Ivy continue to blossom? Only one way to find out! Be here next week, same Gotham time, same Gotham station!